Gov. Umahi (L), and Onyike (R)
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi state, Chief Abia Onyike, has accused the state Governor David Nweze Umahi, and his younger brother Austin, of plotting to kill him for being critical of the governor’s ‘anti-people administration’ in the state.
Onyike in a statement which he made available to journalists on Friday also accused the state governor of ordering security agents to quarantine and isolate him for allegedly being a COVID-19 patient.
A veteran journalist and former information commissioner in the state, Onyike alleged that his trouble with Gov. Umahi started after he decamped from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and joined the APC, and later delivered his ward to the APC in the last general elections.
The statement read: “I want to seize this opportunity to draw the attention of the public to the incessant intimidation and harassment which I have been subjected to by Governor David Umahi, of Ebonyi state and his Agents.
“Gov. Umahi has vowed to employ all sinister measures to silence and prevent me from being critical of his anti-people administration.
“Personal abuses, threats to my life by his brothers and members of his family are too numerous and dirty to publish here.
“On Tuesday, the 9th of June, 2020, I was part of a three-man panel of discussants, invited by Dream FM Radio in Enugu to analyze the issue of Leadership and Democracy in the South-East geopolitical zone, as part of the celebration of 21 years of uninterrupted democratic governance in Nigeria.
“In the one- hour programme, I took time to dissect, analyze and criticize Gov. Umahi’s oppressive, dictatorial and lawless government in Ebonyi state. I accused the govt. of nepotism as Umahi had converted the state to a private family dynasty.
“After the programme, I returned to Abakaliki and was confronted same day by Mr. Austin Umahi, the governor’s younger brother who is the National Vice Chairman of PDP.
“He sent a message to my WhatsApp and threw caution to the winds by calling me names amidst other unprintable and derogatory comments, and sought to know why I criticized his brother’s government.
“Later on, he called me on phone and threatened my life, saying that they were going to kill me.
“Then yesterday, Thursday, 11th June, 2020, Gov.Umahi used his live broadcast to issue an order that the security agencies should compel me to be isolated and quarantined.
“I wish to state categorically that the present step by Umahi is a calculated witch-hunt aimed at curtailing my fundamental human rights and freedom of speech.
“It was based on a letter issued by the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Afikpo South LGA (my LGA of origin).
“But this process is shrouded in mystery and contradictions. First and foremost, I am resident in Abakaliki and not Afikpo South LGA, so how come the letter is coming from the Afikpo South Council Chair, who alleged that I am a suspected COVID-19 patient.
“The Council Chairman, Okechukwu Ogbuagu Chima, is not a medical doctor but a surrogate character being manipulated by his superior authorities.
“It is important to let the World know why they are using the Caretaker Chairman of my LGA for this partisan political- yeoman’s job.
“Since I left PDP and declared for the APC, and thoroughly ensured that my ward was delivered to the APC, neither the governor nor PDP Ebonyi state has rested. The worst hit has been the leadership of PDP in the entire LGA, and the ward.
“ I wish to state that I will not be comfortable with any test being conducted by Gov. Umahi’s agents in Ebonyi state as the Governor and his brother, Austin had threatened to kill me.
“Gov. Umahi thinks he can silence us from celebrating democracy. Where was he when some of us were confronting the Nigerian military under the banner of pro-democracy movements, to return Nigeria to democracy, after the annulment of the June 12 election?
“I was active in the Civil Liberties Organization from inception in 1989. I was part of Campaign for Democracy (CD) from inception in 1993, and later went to Benin-City in 1994 with other patriots to launch the Democratic Alternative (DA).
“I was also very active in the Ebonyi State Movement from 1994 to 1st October, 1996 when the state was created.
“Where was Umahi?”